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Posts Tagged ‘big time sensuality’

Ever so often I stumble upon a couple of Bjork’s songs and then I get this irresistible urge to scream out her name. A few months ago, it was this totally fucking awesome version of Big Time Sensuality with Zakir Hussain. This time around, I have found two rarities, which showcase two very different sides of Björk.

bjork0304So Broken sounds like it is. A stripped-down acoustic plea by Bjork found on the pre-release promo of the 1997 Joga single. Backed by Raimundo Amador’s flamenco guitar, she sings, “So broken, in pieces, my heart is so broken, I’m puzzling” in a way that would make Tom Yorke look like Deepak Chopra. So very fragile.

Hidden Place was the first single from the 2001 Vespertine album. It had an incredibly cool music video directed by Mathias Augustyniak going for it, as well. Unbeknownst to everyone and their cousin, a concert version recorded at the Royal Opera House in 2002 leaked out some time ago. Well, this pretty much kills the studio version. Adoringly led by the Inuit Choir on backing vocals, Zeena Parkins on harp and Robert Groslot’s Il Novecentro Orchestra, Bjork whispers to us, “But careful, careful, there lies my passion, hidden, there lies my love, I’ll hide it under a blanket, lull it to sleep”.

Bjork-Royal-Albert-HallSee, Björk has the same effect on jazz that pepper spray has on foreplay uhmmm or something less disturbing. A blinding commitment to discomfort. Very much like Diamanda Galas without the raving lunacy. Right from one of her first solo albums – Gling-Gló (recorded with Ingólfssonar, a very weird Icelandic bebop trio) to the more recent single Náttúra, a common thread of anomalies that run through her music. A string of misshaped notes that dare the listener to appreciate unfamiliarity.

If ever further proof was needed that a lack of structure is what drives art physically ahead, look no further than the sounds of Björk Guðmundsdóttir.

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Bjork – Broken (acoustic version)

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Bjork – Hidden Place (live at the Royal Albert Hall)

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putsApart from being the title of a really cool Wes Craven flick, People Under The Stairs (PUTS) is also what a bunch of jazzy hip-hoppers form LA are calling themselves. Having released over six albums, four EPs, a couple of mixtapes to their credit and having fashioned a laidback vibe that even the late Miles Davis would approve of, PUTS is one amongst a pantheon of underground rap ensembles who don’t stay awake at nights, wrestling with the false notion that maybe someday Carson Daly will give a shit about them. With lyrics such as “When the stress burns my brain just like acid raindrops / Mary Jane is the only thing that makes the pain stop,” Acid Rain Drops reminds me of those surreal nights we spent at the broken bridge in Adyar. It also reminds me how much love I have for Gill-Scott Heron. God bless his groovy heart for convincing Jazz to have sex with hip-hop. Legend has it that hip-hop made breakfast in bed the next morning.

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People Under The Stairs – Acid Raindrops

kobayashi1Apparently, Montreal-based Kobayashi recorded their debut Strange Lights and Resolutions in just under a week. Thankfully, their spontaneity has yielded fantastic sounds. For anyone who appreciates eclectic music, Kobayashi’s “Shasta” is probably the greatest James Bond theme that never was. When the trumpet kicks in and swirls around those sticky beats like only the bastard child of DJ Shadow and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy could, you will kneel down before the altar of electro jazz. I haven’t heard music this cerebral and soulful at the same time since Radiohead decided to fuck with out heads and release Kid A.

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Kobayashi – Shasta

talvin_singhTalvin Singh is generally held responsible for the travesty that sometimes is Asian Underground. Convincing the Panjabi MCs and Fun-Da-Mental to release albums is probably the most heinous crime it has perpetuated. However, all is not pure evil, as a few of its originators – Talvin Singh and Sweety Kapoor – have put out some good, good music out there. Talvin, especially, is known for teaming up with notable UK acts such as David Sylvian, Massive Attack and The Future Sound of London. As evidenced by this awesome version of Big Time Sensuality with Icelandic goddess Bjork and Frou Frou’s songwriter Guy Sigsworth, the results are often breathtaking. Having said that, hearing Caucasian folks and NRIs fuse western elements with the sounds that evolved from the Vedas only adds to the frustration I have for Indian bands who are completely and willfully oblivious to the forms of expression that are inherent to the land their forefathers hail from.

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Bjork & Talvin Singh – Big Time Sensuality (Live)

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